Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wilco (the album) Review

Wilco (the album)
[Nonesuch; 2009]

Wilco is one of the most interesting indie rock bands of the last 15 years. Each of their albums has been fairly unique and different. First there was the country debut “A.M” followed by the more popular but still country-ish “Being There” next came a couple of albums with Billy Bragg and then their third album “Summerteeth” which, is an example of Wilco at their prime. Then came the electronica phase and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” which pushed Wilco even more into the mainstream with the popular “Heavy Metal Drummer.” In 2004 they released “A Ghost Is Born” and soon afterward added master guitarist Nels Cline. Sky Blue Sky was released in 2007 and now we have Wilco (the album), let’s see….this is their 7th studio album. It seems that with almost every new album release Wilco’s lineup changes. This time it hasn’t and probably for the better. All the members play an important roll in all of these tunes including their two keyboard/pianists Michael Jorgenson and Pat Sansome.

When I first heard Wilco (the song) back when they played it on The Colbert Report in November ’08 I was a little disappointed. Couldn’t Jeff Tweedy think of anything better to write than “Wilco, Wilco, Wilco will love you baby?” The more times I’ve heard it the more it grows on you and it is for sure one of the album’s stronger tracks. Track 3 “One Wing” is a sad song, but nonetheless pretty good and worth a listen. On “You and I” Mr. Tweedy brings in Broken Social Scenster Leslie Feist, better known for her solo work for a nice duet. “You Never Know” is one of the best Wilco songs to date and sounds similar to Summerteeth era Wilco. Check out the George Harrison-esque riffs. “Country Disappeared” is a nice, mellower, no chorus tune. “I’ll Fight” sounds like it could of made it on to Sky Blue Sky but with some added organ. “Sonny Feeling has a short solo and is the closest the band gets to something like the amazing guitar work in Sky Blue Sky’s, “Impossible Germany” or “Walken.” “Everlasting Everything” ends the album on a nice note and features some violin and trumpet.

-Eliot Larson, June 27th, 2009

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